The Man Behind the Magic

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Hampstead, Online Exclusives, Restaurants

Meet Bill Gross, the expert baker at True Blue Butcher and Baker in Hampstead.

When most of us are fast asleep, Bill Gross is baking the delicious breads, rolls and plated desserts served at Chef Bobby Zimmerman’s growing True Blue brand, which includes True Blue Butcher and Table, True Blue Butcher and Barrel, Beat Street and Ellipsis.

“Bobby is passionate about food and committed to quality,” Gross says. “I knew I could work for him.”

Gross has been baking for 23 years. He grew up in Queens, New York, where his mother cooked and baked.

“I grew up in the kitchen,” he says.

He attended the Culinary Institute of America (the CIA) in the Hudson River Valley and worked in well-known Manhattan restaurants including Le Cirque, Eleven Madison Park, Jean Georges, Cafe Gray and Jacques Torres Chocolates in Brooklyn.

Four years before relocating to Brunswick Forest in Leland, Gross and his wife, Chelsea, owned and operated a 10,000-square-foot restaurant in Northern Virginia. They family vacationed on Bald Head Island for many years with their daughter, Hannah.

“We liked hanging out here,” Gross says. “Finally, we decided we liked the area so much that we sold our restaurant and moved here.”

At True Blue Butcher and Baker in Hampstead, Gross and his team bake all the goodies served at the True Blue properties.

True Blue Butcher & Bakery

“On $5 burger night, hundreds of freshly baked hamburger buns are delivered to our True Blue restaurants,” Gross says.

Throughout the week Gross and his team provide more than 1,000 hamburger buns from the Hampstead location.

The bakery offers a wide variety of breads including sourdough, focaccia, challah rolls, croissants and more. The variety doesn’t stop there. Sourdough and focaccia breads are baked in a variety of flavors such as cheddar and jalapeno, Asiago and Parmesan, artichoke, and hot honey.

The hand-rolled croissants are flaky and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. True Blue Butcher and Baker offers a scrumptious ham and cheese croissant.

A variety of desserts, pastries and cookies are available from True Blue Butcher and Baker. Gross says all True Blue plated desserts are baked and prepared at the Hampstead location.

“We offer soups, sides and of course many butcher cuts so our guests can bring the True Blue experience home with them,” Gross says. “We also offer starter sourdough.”
Everything is homemade on the premises, from scratch.

Bill Gross True Blue Butcher & Baker

“Customers can experience the same quality food here that they would enjoy at True Blue,” Gross says.

The bakery also offers quality cuts of meat, including filet mignon, New York Strip and rib eyes as well as crab cakes. True Blue Butcher and Baker also takes custom meat orders for guests.

True Blue Butcher and Baker opened in August 2022 as an expansion of the True Blue brand that Bobby Zimmerman created. The name True Blue pays homage to the butchers dating back to the 1600s when true butchers wore blue aprons.

Want to go?
True Blue Butcher and Baker
13865 U.S. Highway 17, Hampstead
Stop by True Blue Butcher and Baker Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 6 am to 6 pm.
To place an order, call (910) 319-0695.

About the author

Topsail Magazine Contributor

Topsail Magazine Contributor